From Cost to Value: Understanding the Impact of Property Management Fees in NYC - Article Banner

It’s no secret that condos and co-ops can benefit from the experience and services of a professional property management company. Board members are typically volunteers, and they don’t always have the time or expertise that’s required to respond to some of the issues that will come up at your NYC building. While the cost of professional management might seem prohibitive, you have to think about your return on investment (ROI). We can tell you that real estate management companies provide a lot of value for what you pay, especially when we’re talking about full-service building management. 

Whether you’re managing a property or working with the board of your condo association or co-op, it’s always a good idea to have a professional handling essential managerial functions on a full-time basis. This protects your property and the people living in it. You’ll find it’s easier to remain compliant with all necessary laws. Your property will look better and run better. The association leadership will have time to focus on what’s most important, particularly on planning and budgeting. 

But, how much do property management companies charge to manage your building? Here’s our cost-to-value look at understanding the impact of full-service management fees in New York City.

What are Common Charges?

Fees for condominium (condo) buildings are typically referred to as “common charges.” These fees are collected from condo owners to cover the costs of maintaining and operating the building’s common areas and amenities. Common charges may include expenses for things like the building’s lobby, elevators, gym, roof deck, and any other shared spaces, as well as services like trash removal, snow removal, and building staff salaries.

What are Maintenance Fees?

For cooperative (co-op) buildings, the equivalent fees are known as “maintenance fees.” These fees not only cover the costs associated with maintaining and operating the building’s common areas and services similar to condo common charges but also include the building’s property taxes and often the building’s underlying mortgage. This is a key difference from condo common charges, as property taxes for condos are billed separately to each unit owner by the city.

Both common charges and maintenance fees vary significantly from building to building based on factors such as the building’s size, amenities, location, and how well it is managed. 

Additionally, a building’s board may pay a fee to a professional NYC management company for help with the management of the building, property, or community. The amount that you’ll pay in management fees depends on the types of services you need. 

Most professional management companies offer:

  • Full-Service NYC Property Management

With a full-service property management partner, you will not have to take on any of the day-to-day responsibilities that your partner company can cover. This will likely include maintenance coordination, financial management and bookkeeping, as well as communications with homeowners. If your board members are overwhelmed with the requirements of your building and the amount of time that needs to be spent on homeowner compliance and complaints, then a professional management company is your best choice. 

You’ll get a lot of expertise with a full-service New York City property manager, and you’ll also get a lot of your own time back if you’re on a board. Management fees will be higher, but you’re getting complete support on everything from selecting vendors and reviewing legislative requirements to collecting fees from owners and ensuring that everyone stays in compliance with your bylaws. Full service property managers will also help with board meeting prep, budgets, and accounting. 

  • Remote Property Management 

These days, it seems that everything has gone remote, and in some cases, property management is also done remotely. 

This usually occurs when there’s a condo or co-op board that can handle the general and ongoing operations of their community, but that also may struggle to stay ahead of administrative duties or financial management. In this type of situation, a remote management company can provide the support that’s necessary without being on-site or taking full control of the board’s operations. 

This might work for a smaller building or community. The board will continue to be in control of all daily operations, but they can call for virtual assistance when it comes to tasks like reviewing and renewing vendor contracts, planning reserves and capital improvements, corresponding with residents, and tracking violation notifications and resolutions. This is often more cost-effective, but you’ll get less for your management fee. Instead of full-service support, there’s a limited scope to what your remote property management company will do for you. 

  • Consulting Services from a Professional Management Company

Sometimes, instead of full-service or even remote management, some consulting and expertise is what is needed. Instead of a recurring management fee, your board may only pay a one-time fee for a specific project. If your building must be inspected, for example, and your board does not have time to coordinate with inspectors and make it happen within the legal timeframe, a New York City property manager who specializes in building management can help. 

Comparing Value to Services of NYC Property Management 

Save MoneyIt’s important for you to remember that it’s not how much you pay your management company that matters. 

It’s how much money a good management company can save your building. 

A full-service management fee might seem high, but many building owners and boards find that they actually save money when they have professional property managers taking care of things for them. We can offer huge group discounts, whether we’re talking about payroll services or contractors for floor cleaning. The volume of work that we provide to our vendors and contractors entitles us to negotiate the best rates. We’re also keeping up with technology and best practices in property management, leading to ways that we’re able to automate a lot of the work we do. This makes you more efficient and financially leaner. 

We also help boards save money by conducting annual budget reviews. Our budgeting team can compare your rates and fees to about 50 other similar buildings. We will look at insurance costs, cleaning costs, and even fuel costs. Let’s get an idea of where you’re spending too much. This is a great solution for condo and co-op boards who feel like they’re bleeding money. We can stop the bleeding. 

If you’re thinking about professional property management in NYC for your building, let’s talk about where you specific needs rest. We think that you have the most to gain from full-service property management, and we’d be happy to share some specific examples of how we’ve helped buildings and associations save money. We invite you to leverage our relationships and our technology to provide a better – and more profitable – experience for all the homeowners in your building. 

Please feel free to contact us at Harlem Property Management to discuss this further. 

Based in Upper Manhattan, Harlem Property Management is the authority on co-op and condo building management and is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York. We specialize in managing condos, co-ops, and multifamily buildings.